Middle schoolers and elementary school students have so much energy, it is sometimes difficult to capture their attention especially in the middle of the year. Learning out of a science book can be informative, but it’s the fun projects and hands-on activities that really get students excited about learning! Here are some ideas to help you spice up your science curriculum and help engage your students’ attention as much as the first day of school.
Solar System Projects
Outer space tends to be one of the most fascinating and exciting topics for students to learn. It seems like we know so much about space, but without actually being able to visit it, it is a phenomenon that intrigues us. The solar system projects will definitely be the ones that your students will look forward to, so it will be important to make these projects engaging! Some ways to make the solar system fun could be:
- The traditional scale models of the planets- whether you use foam, different types of sports balls, or fruits, it will be helpful for students to see the size comparison with an accurate scale.
- Planet play- try something unique by having each student become a master on a certain planet and have them turn it into a play. They can write the scripts, or make up a song about their planet to help them remember facts about their planet. Have a presentation day where they dress up and present their planet to the class.
Water Cycle Learning
The water cycle is easier to remember when it is presented with a visual interpretation. Students will remember it even more if they are able to create the water cycle themselves. Try doing an experiment showing them how rain works by creating condensation by heating up water, letting it condensate and then drop back down with gravity.
Another topic that is exciting to students are animal habitats. Let students create a terrarium of the animal or insect of their choice. Let them study and learn about their animal and figure out how to create the best atmosphere for their animal or bug. You could turn it into a contest by displaying all the terrariums in the classroom and seeing which bug or creature seems to enjoy their home the most.
Learning about rocks can become very boring if not taught with some spark! A way to get buy-in from your students is to let them search for their own rocks first. Encourage them to dig around, search different places and bring in their findings to class. Have them document where the rocks were found and let them figure out what type of rock it is and see if they can try to date the rock. You can also make this a contest by seeing who can find the most colorful or pretty looking rock. Bring all the rocks together and display them for the class to see. When learning about geodes, try cracking some of the rocks open and make it a learning experience about how to tell if one is a geode or not.